DENVER (CBS4) – After two weeks of cold and snow, a nice extended forecast means there’ll likely be a big draw to Colorado’s high country this weekend.
In recent days, several ski resorts measured 2 to 5 feet of snow, and there was one report from Schoefield Pass, between Marble and Crested Butte, of over 8 feet.
With all that new snow, the concern for human-triggered avalanches remains high.
For the weekend ahead, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has deemed most mountain locations to have a considerable level of avalanche danger.
Considerable danger does not mean to stay away, but is more of a heads up for users of the back-country to be careful.
Boarders, skiers and snow mobilers are encourged to choose routes cautiously and to make wise decisions.
The recent heavy snow brought a huge boost to the state’s water supply.
“This storm could not have come at a better time. Without it, if the same weather patterns since Jan. 1 had persisted through spring, mountain snowpack would have narrowly reached the minimum peak,” said Brian Domonkos of Colorado Snow Survey.
Before the recent snowy weather pattern began on Feb. 20 the statewide snowpack was 79 percent of the median, with conditions in southwest Colorado at or below 60 percent.
Colorado’s snowpack levels on Feb. 17, 2015 before two weeks of cold and snowy weather settled across the state. (credit: CBS)
After the two weeks of cold and snowy weather, the numbers rose significantly, with some river basins in southwest Colorado rising nearly 30 percent.
While this is great news, we’re not out of the woods.
There is only 20 percent of the snow accumulation season to go and conditions are still lagging a bit behind in some areas.
Colorado’s snowpack levels on Mar. 6, 2015 after two weeks of cold and snowy weather settled across the state. (credit: CBS)
March and April are historically two snowy months for much of Colorado as spring weather patterns set up and bring slow-moving, soggy storms into the central Rockies.
All eyes are on the 90-day extended forecast this week after NOAA declared an El Niño had formed during February.
El Niño is a warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean which can have an impact on global climate patterns.